Women's Rights as Human Rights

United Nations, Geneva, 20-21 November 1998


December 10 1998 marks the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the member states of the United Nations. The Declaration confirms in its 30 articles on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights the universality of human rights.

In 1993 the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the UN World Conference on Human Rights and in 1995 the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the Fourth UN World Conference on Women built upon the principles in the Universal Declaration and reaffirmed that enjoyment by women of their human rights is a priority for governments and the United Nations.

Considerable progress has been made, but human rights continue to be ignored in many countries. The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is a fundamental human rights instrument that deals with gender issues and women's rights in both the public and private spheres.

The Convention's protocol is a tool for integrating women's human rights and for strengthening the implementation of the rights formulated in CEDAW.

However the existing reporting system needs to be moreexplicit and therefore the UN Commission on the Status of Women has been attempting to formulate an optional protocol to the Convention that will allow women to seek redress for violations of their human rights, including gender-based violence. This is a measure which SIW fully supports.

The following policy measures are examples of actions which assist the achievement of equality between women and men:

  • The definition by governments of national gender equality objectives and indicators to assess the impact of their policies.
  • The establishment of independent human rights institutions having a mandate to monitor the situation with regard to women's enjoyment of human rights including social and economic rights in the broadest context.
  • The integration of a women's perspective in all human rights activities in order to ensure that women enjoy cultural, civil, political, economic and social rights including the right to freedom from all forms of violence.
  • International financial institutions integrating human rights' impact assessments and gender impact analysis into their programmes.



Coucil Meeting

Geneva, Switzerland, 28 and 29 June 2018

For a World 50-50 in 2030 – The Great Challenges

Socialist International Women denounces brutal attacks on Palestinian demonstrators

17 May 2018

The Socialist International Women strongly denounces the use of lethal fire by Israeli military forces against Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza on Sunday 14 May 2018...

Connecting Rural Women – E-Development and Rural Women's Empowerment

16 March 2018

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 12 to 23 March 2018

Side Event hosted by the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the UN; the Mongolian People’s Party; Socialist International Women(SIW) and PES Women

Empowering Rural Women: Granting Universal Rights to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

15 March 2018

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations, New York, from 12 to 23 March 2018

Parallel Event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW), PES Women and Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

International Women's Day Declaration

08 March 2018

In solidarity and recognition of the immense societal, economic and political achievements of women and girls worldwide Socialist International Women is proud to support International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018...

Statement on Unilateral Decision by the United States of America to Recognise Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

07 December 2017

The Socialist International Women (SIW) disapproves the decision of President Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy there from Tel Aviv...

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November 2017

Socialist International Women affirms its support for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women as an opportunity to focus on the continuing suffering and oppression of women and girls worldwide, and the vital roles that governments and individuals have in creating positive change...

Council Meeting

Barcelona, Spain, 21 and 22 November 2017

Democracy in Crisis, Populism on the Rise - Where do Women's Rights fit in?

Council Meeting

United Nations, New York, 14 July 2017

Rural Areas, Media and ICT - New Challenges and More Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment

In Memory of Carmen Chacón

13 March 1971 - 09 April 2017

The Socialist International Women was deeply saddened to receive the news of the death of Carmen Chacón on 09 April 2017 at the age of 46 years...

Council Meeting and XXI Congress

25 - 27 February 2017

Gender Inequality in the World Today – Understanding the New Challenges and Ending Gender Inequality by 2030

UN Climate Change Conference 2016

Conference of the Parties (COP22), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Marrakech, Morroco, 07 to 18 November 2016

Parallel event hosted by the Socialist International Women (SIW), the Forum of the African Women Post 2015 and Jossour Forum of the Moroccan Women, Bab Ighli Site, Green Zone, 14 November 2016

Former SI President António Guterres to become next UN Secretary General

06 October 2016

The Socialist International Women (SIW) would like to congratulate António Guterres on being chosen as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Council Meeting

28 and 29 June 2016

The UN Sustainable Development Goals – Gender Sensitive Budgeting and Climate Change


The First Hundred Years

A Short History of Socialist International Women

By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women